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J Sex Res. 2017 Nov-Dec;54(9):1197-1208. doi: 10.1080/00224499.2016.1265641. Epub 2017 Jan 6.

Effects of Genital Response Measurement Device and Stimulus Characteristics on Sexual Concordance in Women.

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a Department of Psychology , Queen's University.


Investigations of sexual concordance suggest that, on average, women exhibit a low, positive correlation between their subjective sexual arousal and genital response. However, this relationship appears to be stronger, on average, when genital response is measured via the external tissues of the vulva than within the vagina walls. Given the methodological variations, such as stimulus content and duration, in studies of vulvar and vaginal concordance, direct comparisons between individual studies are limited. In the current study, sexual concordance was examined using concurrent measures of vulvar blood flow (using laser Doppler imaging) and vaginal vasocongestion (using vaginal photoplethysmography) to investigate potential differences in vulvar and vaginal concordance. Twenty-five women viewed two erotic films that differed in sexual activity content (foreplay and intercourse) while their subjective sexual arousal and genital response was measured. In support of previous meta-analytic findings, results suggest that subjective sexual arousal is more strongly correlated with vulvar blood flow than with vaginal vasocongestion. Likewise, perceived genital response and actual vulvar blood flow are more strongly related than are vaginal vasocongestion and self-reported genital sensations. Practical implications for the study of women's sexual concordance as well as broader implications for the understanding of female sexuality are considered.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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